If you’re planning a trip to Egypt, it’s likely that you’ll want to take home some of the best souvenirs from Egypt to remind you of your journey. Whether you’re looking for traditional Egyptian crafts like leather slippers, unique pieces of gold, silver or mother of pearly jewelry, some mini pyramids, or only some tasty treats such dried dates, there are plenty of options to choose from.
To help you narrow down your choices, we’ve put together a list of the 12 best souvenirs to bring back home from a tour in Egypt. So, keep reading to discover the perfect mementos to treasure from your Egyptian adventure.
Egypt and its Popularity as a Tourist Destination
Egypt is a country steeped in history and ancient culture, attracting millions of tourists each year. From the Pyramids of Giza to the Nile River and the Valley of the Kings, Egypt is a must-visit destination for travelers looking to explore some of the world’s most awe-inspiring sights. With a rich heritage dating back thousands of years, Egypt is, not surprisingly, also home to a massive variety of unique souvenirs that reflect the country’s history and culture.
For those looking to bring back something special from their trip to this fascinating country, the options are endless. From traditional handicrafts to modern creations, Egyptian souvenirs offer a unique insight into the country’s rich and diverse cultural heritage. Whether you’re looking for a small keepsake or a larger statement piece, there is sure to be something that catches your eye.
The Importance of Souvenirs in any Trip
Souvenirs are an important part of any trip, serving as tangible reminders of the experiences and memories made during your travels. They also make great gifts for family and friends, allowing you to share a piece of your adventures with them. When it comes to choosing souvenirs in Egypt, it’s important to select items that are both meaningful and practical, as well as authentic to the destination you visited.
By doing so, you’ll not only have a physical representation of your trip, but also a deeper connection to the culture and history of the place you visited.
With that in mind, let’s dive into our list of the 12 best souvenirs from Egypt to remind you of your journey through the Land of the Pharaohs for years to come.
Top 12 Souvenirs to Buy in Egypt
1. Handmade Papyrus Paintings
Handmade papyrus paintings are one of the most unique souvenirs you can bring back from Egypt. Papyrus was used by the ancient Egyptians as a writing material, and today it is still produced by skilled artisans who make beautiful paintings on the paper. These paintings often depict scenes from ancient Egyptian mythology, such as the pharaohs, gods and goddesses, and hieroglyphics.
Papyrus is a paper-like material that is made using the same techniques that were used in ancient times, which involves pressing strips of papyrus together to form a sheet, and then painting on it using natural pigments.
Papyrus drawings come in various sizes and designs and can be bought from souvenir shops and markets throughout Egypt. They make excellent gifts for friends and family back home and are a great way to remember your trip to Egypt. So, if you’re looking for a souvenir that’s both unique and authentic, then papyrus drawings should be on the top of your list.
2. Egyptian Cotton Clothing and Linens
Egypt is renowned for its high-quality cotton, which is considered to be some of the best in the world. Egyptian cotton is known for its softness, durability, and luxurious feel, making it a popular choice for clothing and linens. Tourists can take back home a piece of this luxury by purchasing Egyptian cotton clothing and/or an authentic Egyptian galabeya or jalabiya.
These items can range from shirts and dresses to bed sheets and towels. They also make for great gifts for friends and family, or as a special treat for yourself. Just be sure to check the label to ensure that the items are if fact made with genuine Egyptian cotton.
3. Perfume Oils and Incense
An ancient tradition in Egypt is the art of fragrance, and it’s no wonder why it’s a popular souvenir among tourists. Egypt is famous for its aromatic oils and incense, which have been used since ancient times for various purposes, including religious ceremonies and personal grooming.
The most popular scent is musk oil, which has a pleasant and long-lasting fragrance. Other scents include jasmine, lotus, sandalwood, rose and oud (Egypt agarwood). Incense sticks and cones can also be found in many shops, offering a pleasant aroma to your home or office.
4. Gold and Silver Jewelry
Egypt is renowned for its high-quality gold and silver jewelry, which has been coveted for centuries. Whether you are looking for a souvenir or an investment, you’ll find a vast assortment of precious pieces to choose from. Egyptian jewelry is typically handmade and adorned with intricate designs and precious stones, making each piece unique.
Some of the most popular jewelry items to take back home include bracelets, necklaces with a cartouche pendent, earrings, and rings, all of which are available in various styles, from traditional to modern. You can find gold and silver jewelry in most Egyptian markets and bazaars, but make sure to haggle for the best price.
5. Traditional Egyptian Pottery
Traditional Egyptian pottery is a popular souvenir that reflects the rich cultural heritage of Egypt. Handmade by skilled artisans, these pottery pieces range from decorative bowls and vases to ceramic figures and mugs. They are often adorned with intricate patterns and colors that represent different regions of Egypt, such as Aswan or Luxor. These pieces make for unique and beautiful decorative items for your home. Look for pottery shops or stalls in local markets and bazaars to find the perfect piece to take back home.
6. Authentic Spices and Herbs
Authentic spices and herbs are among the best souvenirs from Egypt, and a must-have souvenir for food lovers visiting Egypt. Egyptian cuisine features a wide range of aromatic herbs and spices that add flavor and depth to dishes. Some popular spices include cumin, coriander, saffron, turmeric, and cardamom, while popular herbs include parsley, mint, and dill.
You can purchase pre-packaged spices in markets and bazaars or buy them by weight to bring back home and experiment with in your own cooking. Just be sure to check customs regulations before packing them in your luggage.
7. Decorative Egyptian Trinkets
Decorative Egyptian trinkets are small souvenirs that represent the unique culture and history of Egypt. These trinkets can be anything from miniature scarabs, pyramids, sphinxes, to tiny replicas of ancient Egyptian artifacts. They make great decorative items for your home and can also be used as keychains or charms. You can find these trinkets in most Egyptian markets and bazaars, and they are usually very affordable. They are perfect for those looking for a small but meaningful reminder of their trip to Egypt.
8. Alabaster Stone Products
Alabaster stone products are also among the best souvenirs from Egypt. Alabaster has been used since ancient times to create beautiful and intricate decorative pieces, such as vases, lamps, and bowls. You can find alabaster products in markets and bazaars throughout Egypt, but the best place to buy authentic and high-quality pieces is in Luxor, where the stone is sourced from nearby quarries. These unique and stunning pieces will add a touch of elegance and history to any home.
9. Ancient Egyptian Replicas and Antiques
Ancient Egyptian replicas and antiques are a popular souvenir choice for history enthusiasts and collectors. These items could range from small replicas of famous Egyptian artifacts like Tutankhamun’s mask or the Ankh symbol, to actual ancient artifacts like scarabs, statues, or amulets.
While many people consider genuine antiques to be the best souvenirs from Egypt, it’s important to note that restrictions and regulations may apply to the export of ancient artifacts, so it’s best to check with the authorities and reputable dealers before making a purchase. Nonetheless, owning a piece of ancient Egyptian history can be a unique and fascinating addition to any collection or home decor.
10. Traditional Egyptian Shawls and Scarves
Traditional Egyptian shawls and scarves are a popular souvenir choice for those looking to bring back a piece of Egyptian fashion. These colorful and vibrant textiles can be found in markets and bazaars throughout the country, and are made from a variety of materials including cotton, silk, and wool. They can be worn as headscarves, shawls, or wrapped around the neck as a scarf, and make for a stylish and practical accessory. They also come in a range of prices, making them a great souvenir option for travelers on a budget.
11. Bedouin Handicrafts
Bedouin handicrafts are unique and authentic, and many travelers consider them to be among the best souvenirs from Egypt that showcase the traditional arts and crafts of the nomadic Bedouin tribes of Egypt. These handicrafts can include handwoven carpets, rugs, tapestries, and baskets made from natural materials like palm leaves and reeds. They are often adorned with intricate patterns and designs that reflect the Bedouin way of life, and can add a touch of cultural authenticity to any home.
Shisha pipes and shisha are another two very popular souvenirs, but before you attempt to take these back home, be sure to check if your home country has any import restrictions in place concerning these items. Bear in mind that in certain countries, possession of hookah or shisha is illegal.
Buying Bedouin handicrafts at local markets and bazaars is a great way to help support local artisans and preserve traditional craftsmanship.
12. Egyptian Food and Sweets
When visiting Egypt, make sure to bring back some of the country’s delicious food and sweets as a souvenir. From spices and teas, to dates and figs, there’s something for everyone’s taste buds. Popular Egyptian sweets include baklava, basbousa, and konafa, which are all made with honey, nuts, and semolina.
These flavorful treats will transport you back to the land of the Pharaohs every time you take a bite, making them among the best souvenirs from Egypt, not to mention the fact that they also make great gifts.
Other Great Souvenirs to Consider
In addition to things like figurines and statues replicas can be found everywhere. These are typically replicas of Egyptian deities like Horus and Bastet who even the pharaohs would vail to. Brass and copperware products are also among the best souvenirs from Egypt, as are small camel figures and mummy cases, some of which might be decorated with colorful antique stones.
Other popular souvenirs include things like a handmade burqa or jilhab, cotton robes, or perhaps a tarboosh which is a sort of traditional hat that resembles a truncated cone. A tarboosh is also known as a Fez because traditionally they are colored using dye from the city of Fez in Morocco.
Last but not least, khayameya also make for a wonderful souvenir. These are large beautifully decorated textile pieces that date back to the time of the ancient Egyptians. Today, these are mostly produced in a section of Muizz Street in Islamic Cairo, in an area known as the Street of the Tentmakers.
Benefits of Buying Souvenirs in Egypt
The ancient Egyptian civilization has captivated our imagination for centuries, and no matter where in the world you are, you will find Egyptian-themed goods being sold. However, these simply cannot compete with the best souvenirs from Egypt, and here’s why…
1. Unique and Authentic
The souvenirs you’ll find in Egypt are truly unique and authentic. From handmade Bedouin crafts to intricately decorated textiles, you won’t find these items anywhere else in the world. After all, the best place to purchase the best souvenirs from Egypt, would be in Egypt itself.
2. Cultural Significance
Egyptian souvenirs are not just pretty trinkets – they are deeply rooted in the country’s rich cultural history. From the ancient Pharaonic era to Islamic and Coptic influences, each souvenir tells a story and represents a piece of Egypt’s diverse heritage. Bringing home a souvenir from Egypt allows you to share a piece of this cultural significance with your loved ones and keep the memories of your trip alive.
3. Support Local Economy and Businesses
Another benefit of buying souvenirs in Egypt is that it supports the local economy and businesses. By purchasing authentic souvenirs from local vendors, you are contributing to the livelihoods of the people who create, sell, and market these products. This not only helps to sustain their businesses, but it also ensures that traditional crafts and skills are passed on to future generations.
4. Memorable and Meaningful
Lastly, souvenirs from Egypt are memorable and meaningful. They serve as a tangible reminder of your trip and the experiences you had while exploring this fascinating country. Plus, they make great conversation starters and can spark interest in Egyptian culture and history. With so many unique and authentic souvenirs to choose from, you’re sure to find something that speaks to you and captures the essence of your trip.
Where to Find the Best Souvenirs from Egypt
You can find great souvenirs from Egypt almost everywhere in the country, but if are specifically looking for souvenirs to take back home, then consider the following…
Traditional Souks and Markets
The traditional souks and markets in Egypt are a treasure trove for souvenir shopping. The Khan el-Khalili Bazaar in Cairo is one of the oldest and most popular markets in the country, offering a variety of handmade crafts, (including hand crafted jewelry), spices, and textiles. The Aswan souk, located along the Nile River, is another great spot to find unique and authentic souvenirs, such as Nubian pottery, shisha pipes and camel bone carvings. Don’t forget to haggle for the best prices!
If you’re looking for souvenirs that are more educational and informative, then head to government-run stores, including the gift shops found at many of Egypt’s famous museums. The Egyptian Museum in Cairo, for example, offers a range of replicas of ancient artifacts, books on Egyptian history, and other related items. These souvenirs not only make great decor but also provide a deeper understanding of Egypt’s rich culture and history. Plus, the proceeds typically go toward supporting the museum and its collections.
Tourist bazaars, often located near popular tourist attractions, are another convenient option for finding the best souvenirs from Egypt. While the prices may be slightly higher than those found in local souks and markets, these bazaars offer a wider range of souvenirs, including t-shirts, postcards, and other mass-produced items. You can find tourist bazaars in cities like Aswan, Luxor and Sharm el-Sheikh, as well as near famous landmarks such as the Pyramids of Giza.
Art Galleries and Studios
If you’re interested in purchasing artwork or other handmade crafts, then consider visiting local art galleries and studios. These places often showcase the work of talented Egyptian artisans, including painters, sculptors, and potters. You can find art galleries and studios in cities like Cairo and Luxor, as well as in smaller towns and villages throughout the country. Purchasing artwork not only supports local artists but also allows you to bring home a unique piece of Egypt’s vibrant culture.
Tips for Buying Souvenirs in Egypt
Okay, so you have probably got a good idea as to what sort of souvenirs you want to buy while you are in Egypt, but you may have a few other questions. For example, how do you bargain for the best prices, how do you check authenticity, and should you carry all your souvenirs with you when you fly back home, or can you pack them and ship them?
- Learn some basic Arabic phrases to communicate with local vendors
- Start with a lower price than what you’re willing to pay to leave room for negotiation
- Be willing to walk away if the vendor won’t meet your desired price
- Don’t be afraid to counter-offer or ask for a package deal
- Consider buying multiple items from the same vendor to increase your bargaining power
- Show genuine interest in the item and let the vendor know you appreciate its craftsmanship
- Don’t insult the item or vendor with a lowball offer
- Keep a friendly and respectful tone throughout the negotiation process
- Be aware of your surroundings and avoid bargaining in areas with high tourist prices
- Don’t feel pressured to buy anything if you’re not comfortable with the price or item
- Remember that bargaining is a common practice in Egypt and is often expected
- Have fun with the process and enjoy the cultural experience of bargaining in a local market.
Checking for Authenticity
When shopping for the best souvenirs from Egypt, it’s important to make sure that you’re getting authentic items. Unfortunately, there are many counterfeit products sold to tourists. To avoid this, here are some tips to check for authenticity:
- Research the item beforehand to know what it should look and feel like.
- Check the quality of the item. Authentic items will often have more detail and higher quality materials.
- Look for any official stamps or labels that indicate authenticity.
- Ask the vendor about the item’s history and how it was made.
- If buying antiques, ask for a certificate of authenticity.
- If unsure, get a second opinion from a trusted local, such as your tour guide, or from an expert in the field.
Packing and Shipping Souvenirs
When it comes to packing and shipping souvenirs, there are a few things to consider. Here are some tips:
- Pack fragile items securely in bubble wrap or other protective materials.
- Consider shipping larger items, such as rugs or furniture, instead of carrying them with you on the plane.
- Check with your airline about their baggage weight limits and fees for extra bags.
- Be aware of any customs regulations, both in Egypt and in your home country regarding certain items, such as ivory, certain plant materials, and antiques.
- Consider using a shipping service that specializes in international shipping and customs clearance.
- Keep all receipts and documentation in case you need to file a claim for lost or damaged items.
With these tips in mind, you can shop for the best souvenirs from Egypt with confidence, and bring home some unique and authentic treasures to remember your trip.
Explore Egypt your way by selecting only the attractions you want to visit
Explore Egypt your way by selecting only the attractions you want to visit
Egypt Souvenirs: Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most popular souvenir from Egypt?
The most popular souvenir from Egypt is undoubtedly the Egyptian Hieroglyphs-inspired papyrus drawings, followed by kap-t [incense in ancient Egyptian]
What are the most affordable souvenirs to buy in Egypt?
The most affordable souvenirs in Egypt tend to be papyrus drawings, figurines, incense, and replicas of various gods and goddesses. Souvenirs relating to the pyramids and King Tutankhamun are also very popular, and typically very affordable.
What can I buy in Egypt that cannot be found elsewhere?
1. Papyrus Artwork: Papyrus is a traditional Egyptian material made from the stems of the papyrus plant. It is used to create beautiful artwork featuring images of pharaohs, hieroglyphics, and other ancient Egyptian motifs.
2. Perfume Oils: Perfume oils are a specialty in Egypt, and you can find a wide variety of scents that are unique to the region.
3. Egyptian Cotton: Egyptian cotton is famous around the world for its softness and durability. Pick up some high-quality cotton sheets or clothing as a souvenir.
4. Alabaster Carvings: Alabaster is a type of translucent stone that is found in Egypt. It is often used to create beautiful carvings of gods, goddesses, and other ancient figures.
5. Spices: Egyptian cuisine is known for its use of fragrant spices, and you can find a wide variety of them in the markets. Pick up some saffron, cumin, or cardamom to bring home.
6. Camel Leather Goods: Camel leather is another specialty of Egypt. You can find a range of items made from this durable material, including bags, shoes…?
Are tourists allowed to take antiques out of Egypt?
Tourists are allowed to take some antiques out of Egypt, but there are restrictions in place to protect the country’s cultural heritage. Items that are more than 100 years old require a special export permit from the Supreme Council of Antiquities, and it is illegal to export certain items such as mummies and sarcophagi.
It is important to check with a trusted local or an expert in the field before purchasing antiques to ensure that they can be legally exported. Additionally, it is recommended to obtain a certificate of authenticity for any antique items to avoid any issues with customs.
As a side note, it is also best not to try and take any stones out of Egypt, other that gemstones. If a customs official finds stones or pieces of stone in your bags, you may be suspected of damaging one of the country’s ancient monuments.
Can I take sea shells or coral out of the country?
It is not recommended to take sea shells or coral out of Egypt. Removing live coral can have a severe impact on the marine ecosystem, and it is illegal to export coral without a permit. In addition, some sea shells may also be restricted for export. In short, coral and seashells are not the best souvenirs from Egypt. It is best to leave these natural treasures in their natural habitat and choose other souvenirs to bring back home.
Are there any souvenirs from Egypt that are easy to pack for travel?
Yes, there are several souvenirs from Egypt that are easy to pack for travel. Here are 10 of the best souvenirs to bring back home from a tour in Egypt that won’t take up too much space in your luggage:
1. Egyptian cotton towels and linens
2. Papyrus art and bookmarks
3. Alabaster statues and vases
4. Handmade jewelry, such as silver or gold cartouche necklaces
5. Fragrant Egyptian oils, perfumes, and incense
6. Leather goods like wallets, belts, and purses
7. Traditional Egyptian clothing, such as a galabeya or shawl
8. Scarab beetle amulets, which were seen as symbols of resurrection and rebirth
9. Authentic Egyptian spices and blends, such as za’atar and dukkah
10. Camel hair blankets and scarves, which are soft and warm for colder climates.
In this article, we have looked at 12 of the best souvenirs from Egypt and more, each of which can serve as a lasting momento of your trip to the Land of the Pharaohs. While sweets, snacks, and exotic spices are all fantastic souvenirs, once you have enjoyed them, they are gone. By all means, go ahead and take some of these home with you, but don’t forget to take back souvenirs that you will be able to keep and appreciate for years to come.
Souvenirs are more than just trinkets or gifts. They serve as a reminder of our travels, bringing back memories of the experiences we had, the people we met, and the places we visited. Souvenirs can also provide insights into the local culture and customs. By taking a piece of Egypt back home with you, you can relive your trip and share your experiences with friends and family.
Enjoy a Vibrant and Rich Culture, and Discover the Fascinating History of Egypt
Egypt is a country steeped in history and culture, and it offers visitors a wealth of experiences that are both exciting and memorable. From the grand pyramids of Giza to the bustling streets of Cairo, Egypt is a destination that never fails to captivate and inspire.
If you are only able to visit one country on earth, let it be Egypt where you will be able to explore the famous Giza Pyramids, and stroll through breathtaking temples and tombs that have been here for thousands of years. And, by taking home some of the best souvenirs from Egypt, you can keep a piece of this fascinating country with you and remember your incredible journey for years to come.
Are you Ready for the Land of the Pharaohs?
If you have just answered “YES”, then Egypt Tours Plus can help you to turn your dream vacation into a reality, just as we have done for nearly half a million other people already.
Explore Egypt your way by selecting only the attractions you want to visit
Explore Egypt your way by selecting only the attractions you want to visit
Last Updated on February 14, 2024